McLaren news: Papaya's brand new MCL60 makes its debut on the tracks

McLaren scheduled one of its two filming days for Bahrain on Tuesday in order to make sure that its new F1 challenger could run without issues.

The McLaren MCL60. (Image: Twitter/McLaren)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Feb 22, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

After experiencing serious brake overheating issues that led to a disastrous test and disappointing opening race in Bahrain one year ago, the McLaren team has made efforts to prevent a repeat of that issue this time. McLaren scheduled one of its two filming days for Bahrain on Tuesday in order to make sure that its new F1 challenger could run without issues. McLaren is well aware that there is only one test left before the first race of 2023 at Sakhir. The team was only allowed to run a maximum of 100 kilometres on the day, which was also used for filming, but that was enough to provide a critical indication of any issues that needed to be resolved before Thursday’s start of the actual running.

Lando Norris felt the day had been crucial for McLaren to avoid starting the test on the back foot like it did the previous year after his run. “I think it was a super important day for us, especially because we need to start this season off better than we did last year,” explained the Brit. “So far we’ve done exactly that, so I’m happy the team are happy. There’s a lot of hard work to make sure we start smoothly, and we start with the reliability, and get everything on top of where it should be. They’ve done exactly that, so yeah, super important.”

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McLaren unveil stunning MCL60 in 60th anniversary year

The MCL60, which McLaren has unveiled as their 2023 rival, commemorates a significant milestone in the British team’s history. One of the most storied teams on the grid is going through a season of change with Daniel Ricciardo leaving and his fellow Australian and 2021 Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri replacing him for his rookie campaign. A change has also occurred at the executive level, with Andrea Stella taking over for Andreas Seidl as team principal. Lando Norris will start as the senior driver in the 2023 season, which will be his fifth in Formula 1.

The exterior of the car is painted in the same hues as in years past, with prominent accents of McLaren’s papaya orange. As usual, a black and light blue swath runs across the vehicle. Prior to the first race of the season in Bahrain on March 5, the MCL60 will make its official on-track debut during the preseason test at the Bahrain International Circuit beginning on February 23. Piastri predicted it would be a memorable year, not just for him but for the team as a whole, when discussing the MCL60, the first car of his Formula 1 career.

“I’m delighted to get started with McLaren and make my F1 debut this season,” the Australian said. “The off-season has been great for me, and I’ve been working hard to prepare for the upcoming year. The time I’ve spent at the factory and in the sim has been enjoyable and productive, and everyone in the team has been welcoming. I’ve settled in well and I’m now fully focused on getting out on track in Bahrain.”